Why most Realtors don’t work with Real Estate Investors and how to solve this

Why most Realtors don’t work with RE Investors and how to solve this

How often do we hear real estate investors say “I’m looking for an investor friendly Realtor”? Most times it comes from newbies who just came out of their real estate classes and were told to build their Power Team. An investor-friendly agent is a great theory, but you start digging deeper, you realize that:

  • Most Realtors don’t want to work with Investors
  • Those that agree to work with you don’t know what you need, and you end up spinning your wheels trying to teach them everything you learned from your classes. It is especially hard when you do not have real-life investing experience
  • Realtors do not want to do what you ask them to do

Why do we run into all these issues? I have asked a few industry professionals from both teams: agents and investors and identified four main reasons why Realtors do not want to work with investors.


Most Realtors believe if you’re not making competitive offers, you are wasting their time which they don’t get paid for. While you must remember, Realtors don’t get paid until after the deal closes, you should consider, that they probably don’t realize that we aren’t just low-balling (I hope you aren’t), we are looking for the sellers that need our money because of some distress. And we have our expenses that were calculated before coming up with that number.

SOLUTION: You must educate your Realtor on why you are offering what you are offering. Give them your formula for calculating MAO (maximum allowable offer) for each deal and make sure these numbers are pretty conservative.
EVA LEAK MEDILEK, BAY AREA INVESTOR:  I have to educate my agents on every deal. I finally shared, in great detail, the formula I use for my MAO (Maximum Allowable Offer)…  Stay true to your word and try not to be such a pain in the ass when asking them for things. Socialize with them. Take them to lunch. Tell them your criteria… Work it out and be honorable.

LORNE CATALANO, LANCASTER NY INVESTOR:  I HATE it when agents understate how cheap rehab work can be done or say you don’t need to paint or do carpeting. Trashy properties attract trashy tenants/buyers…

RUBEN PEREZ, PHOENIX AZ INVESTOR: Lowballing houses on the MLS has never been my thing. I think you can burn through realtors’ real fast that way. Better to understand your market and know where you can buy and how much you can pay.

4 Reasons Why most Realtors don’t work with RE Investors and how to solve this


Many Investors believe it’s OK to ask for all the COMPs, different data, see multiple properties and have Realtor work for them for free basically and then cut them out of the commission’s

4 Reasons Why most Realtors don’t work with RE Investors and how to solve this

SOLUTION: Value your Realtors’ time as you want others to appreciate yours. Know what kind of data you need upfront, and let your agent know your list, so they don’t feel like you are abusing them. Only see properties that you are sure about. And finally, make sure you let your agent make money any way he can: e.g. by listing your rehabs or referring sellers and buyers to them.

4 Reasons Why most Realtors don’t work with RE Investors and how to solve this

RUBEN PEREZ, PHOENIX AZ INVESTOR: As real estate entrepreneurs, we are always marketers, so I always refer homeowners to our agents who have a house that is simply a listing. We can’t get every house under contract, but the lead shouldn’t be thrown away. It’s a great lead for an agent who may be willing to list the house for a smaller commission since they did not even have to market for that house. It’s pretty much a free lead for them and a free listing. We don’t ask for anything in return…

Why most Realtors don’t work with RE Investors and how to solve this


This is a HUGE issue! And you absolutely must understand never to start your conversation with a Realtor you want on your team from “Can you give me your MLS Access”! It is a no-no and will get you black-listed in that Realtor’s contact book. Some gurus teach that, but they fail to clarify that it’s only OK if you have established relationships with the agent and he knows you are trustworthy and can perform.

4 Reasons Why most Realtors don’t work with RE Investors and how to solve this

Before considering asking for MLS access, get familiar with what it took a Realtor to get the license and what it costs them to have that access and maintain their license. Here is an article that’ll give you an idea about Agent’s Expenses Most People Don’t Know About.

Also, even if you get access, doesn’t mean you will be able to use it. There were times when we taught our EXPERIENCED agents to pull the data they didn’t even know was available on MLS.

SOLUTIONS: First, learn to use information from other reputable sources. And second, develop relationships with an experienced and knowledgeable Agent to get a good advice and all the information you need. Also, make sure the professional you are choosing to work with understands how to get you all the information you need while you are winning their trust. And perhaps eventually you will have the opportunity to get the restricted access to their MLS.

TONY GUISTO, CHICAGO IL INVESTOR/ RE BROKER: I’d suggest that Investors get a license. That way you don’t have to worry if the offer you submitted is getting sent in a timely fashion or if the realtor decides to try and go after it on his own. And also, if an investor states to the realtor that they will list on the back end and hold up our word.


Many investors have this problem coming out of their Holiday Inn weekend courses and thinking since they just paid a big buck for some information, that information is 100% correct, works in all states is legal, ethical and moral. And way too many gurus temp to bad mouth Realtors, saying they don’t know what they are doing. So Investors taking classes from those people automatically take on their attitude. Not to mention “You will know more than most Realtors out there after my class” – I have actually been a student of gurus who say that! And while there are a lot of unprofessional Realtors, there are also those who don’t just love what they do but also know their business very well. They are knowledgeable about their market, they have great connections with other industry professionals you would need, they understand data and of course, there are those that are investors themselves and these are your best bet.

SOLUTION: Be teachable, but choose your Realtor wisely. Just because they go to your REIA, it doesn’t mean they’ll know what you need! Here is why You Shouldn’t Blindly Take Advice from a Realtor you met at your local REIA.

4 Reasons Why most Realtors don’t work with RE Investors and how to solve this

Another great solution is to find an agent who is also an investor, like the rehabber Lorne Catalano did:

4 Reasons Why most Realtors don’t work with RE Investors and how to solve this

To sum this up, I will say that the problem occurs in the core principle of communication, which is honesty. Mutual understanding and collaboration is something that has to be present. And of course if you want a great Realtor on your team, you must be great yourself:

  • Be  upfront
  • Be  honest
  • Be  teachable
  • Know  your  numbers
  • Perform
  • Be  grateful

To finish, here are some great recommendations from my good friend and fellow real estate investor Tony Guisto, real estate investor and licenced real estate broker in Illinois with Village Realty Shoppe:

Tips for investors to work with a realtor:

If you are going to be working with a realtor, a few tips that I’d suggest is to be upfront and document everything with them. This way everyone knows what is expected and can be referred to if questions arise later. Plus someone that you are interviewing to work with you as your realtor can see what it is you expect and decide if they would want to work with you. Not every Realtor will be the right fit for every person. Some also work for a while until they don’t. Never just hire someone because they are a realtor, interview them and see if you are compatible it is similar to dating someone, plus you might not be compatible with them. If I am asked to sign an exclusive buyers’ agreement, I insist that the realtor signs an exclusive agreement only to work with me. Don’t be forced or feel that it is necessary to sign an exclusive agreement, in my experience that is a realtor who is either not comfortable or just somebody who will do bare minimum work and expect that they get paid. Do most of the tedious legwork to make it easier on the realtor, for example: write out contracts to be submitted, view houses on Google earth and try to get a feel for area/house before going out to see property. So, if it has something that you don’t like, you don’t waste realtors’ time looking at a non-deal.

Tips for Realtors working with investors:

Make sure expectations are clearly defined. Set boundaries: any e-mail after 8 in the evening will be answered by 8 in the morning. Be flexible: if a client wants to see house try to show him or get someone from the office to assist if conflict. Don’t assume because you have a license that you know more than someone else. Speak openly and be honest if you see issues before purchase not after when it is time to relist. Be open to suggestions on different ways to market a property. Offer up different ideas instead of only dropping the price to get a house sold.

This is a partnership and when working together, it can develop into a beautiful relationship where everyone makes money and is happy. However when one piece is not functioning properly, the entire movement will start to be inoperable and fail. Be open and honest with each other, so you do not let issues build up and completely destroy the relationship. If the relationship is not working and you need to make a change, let the person know quickly and why they are being relieved. It is not fun but will be the best interest of all parties in the long run.

Do you have anything to add? If you are an agent, who has an experience working with Investors (good or bad) feel free to share with us in the comments below.

If you are an Investor and have something to say, I’d love to hear from you!

REI Software comparison

In this article we decided to compare 3 different platforms that we used personally for the real estate business marketing automation: Freedomsoft, REI Blackbook and AllClients, because these questions come up a lot around real estate investors’ forums:

  • What REI software to use for marketing automation?
  • How much should I spend on a software?
  • Is it worth paying for the software I got in my package (if they went to some classes and bought a pre-packaged deal)?

These are all very valuable questions and every person who is using one or another software will have his/her own opinion. Some will say it sucks only because they couldn’t figure it out and others will say the same because they used it and it really was not so good for multiple reasons, while others will be totally happy about the product they use.

It’s really hard to get an unbiased opinion because we are all different, our needs are different and especially our level of comprehension is so different too. So we did our best to help you with this hard decision and created this comparison table, that will help you decide for yourself, what will best work for your business at the current stage.

Please remember that features may change with time and please feel free to share your own experience with any of these products in the comments below.

All Clients
Licensing Fee N N $997
Monthly cost $97


Can vary depending on features

Multi user free extra $15/MO N
Deals Tracker N Y Y
Landing Pages unlimited unlimited unlimited
Autoresponders N Y Y
Email Blast/Broadcasts Y Y

Integrates w/Google

Calendar and TO DO list N Y Y
Property Marketing & Syndication Engine N N Y
Single Property Sites Unique website URLs for each property you want to market Y N Y
Websites 3 (limited customization options) N/A 3 (wider range of customization options)
Bird Dog Engine N N Y
Deal & Profit Analyzer Y N Y
Offer Calculator Y Y Y
Money Portal Connect with Private & Hard Money Lenders directly on your deals N N Y
Resources: Document library N N Y
Network Community Y (limited – only for posting/viewing other members’ deals) N Y (full range of networking possibilities)
Live support Email Support Email Support Free One-on-one calls
Cash Buyer List Find list of recent cash buyers Y N N
Phone Management System Dedicated Phone Number/Line with 24/7 Recorded Messages and Tracking N $20/MO + PAY PER USE No Monthly fee! PAY PER USE only

There are virtually hundreds and maybe even thousands of other platforms you will hear about, AWeber, MailChimp, Constant Contact, Zoho CRM, Podio the list goes on… Any of them can be used for your real estate business if you are not looking for industry specific features and just want a CRM with ability to send autoresponders for example. Great website to check out for reviews of each of them is Software Advice. They had 336 platforms under CRM platforms last time I checked. Zoho and Podio are actually a lot more complex and you can build your own features, but if you are not an automation ninja, stick with the things that are already done for you. With these guys you will need some developer skills and a very clear picture of what you want to make out of them.

I really hope this article will help to clear out the air for you. If you have questions or comments, please put them below and our team will do our best to address them!

I went to a class and I want to be a real estate investor

Many of us have started to think about becoming an investor because we read a book like Rich Dad Poor Dad or went to a class on real estate investing. At least I did. Actually my mom gave me Kim Kiyosaki’s Rich Woman back in 2009 that she got from an Amway meeting. She brought me a bunch of books, but the network marketing idea wasn’t for me so I didn’t touch those books for at least a year until a regular spring cleaning. Kim’s book sparked my interest and I loved the fact that there were rich women out there who do not depend on their men and know how to make money while not going to a job they hate.

Needless to say I hated my job. Well I didn’t use to because I was lying to myself that I wanted a career in my field. I spent all my adult life in the restaurant industry going from a hostess to a GM of a nice restaurant on Capitol Hill owned by a Star Chef. I loved my progress and I studied hard to be a good resta, learning leadership skills, learning to cook the traditional French cuisine in the prestigious (and expensive) Art Institute of Washington, going to TV shows with my Chef and thinking I want to be like him when I grow up. Little did I know that I would get burned out by bossing people around and pleasing customers and the boss. I started to long for a quiet day without incidents, so that every employee shows up to work, every plate goes out the way it supposed to, every customer leaves happy and the boss stays pleased with the shift. That just never was the case. It was super stressful, aggravating, tense and upsetting, although I was listening to positive audio books and working on my personal development day in and day out.

After reading Rich Dad Poor Dad, I found a free real estate investing class coming to my area and the rest is history. Read more...

But one day I got lucky, I didn’t think that way at first and cried for a couple days feeling betrayed and mistreated, but my impulsive and irrational boss decided to fire me out of nowhere when I just showed up for one of my shifts. Of course now I see it as the best thing that ever happened to me because I don’t think I’d ever have the guts to leave although I was so unhappy and tired. It was just a piece of a puzzle that fall into a perfect place and made a big picture of my life to start to come together.

I was waiting for my wounds to heal while looking for a new job. That’s when I got my spring cleaning going and came across the books I mentioned above. If I still had my management job, I’d never have a chance to read them. Long story short here I was swallowing one page after another. Next thing I know I was shopping for Rich Dad Poor Dad on Amazon and making plans for investing. After Rich Dad Poor Dad, I found a free real estate investing class coming to my area and the rest is history.

People often complain how much money they spent on their education and that it was scam, because they haven’t learned anything and weren’t able to make their money back using the knowledge from classes. I always feel sorry for those people because for me it was the best thing ever. Although I did spend all my savings to buy an expensive Rich Dad package, I never turned back! Did I become a millionaire like my first 3 day trainer who drove a Bentley and wore a Rolex? No (or should I say not yet). But I certainly changed my life and started to invest – my money, my time, myself – all I can into my future, financial and spiritual. It has never been easy but as they say, it was worth it. Every failure and every success! Every bad partner and every new like minded friend! Every experience, every phone call and every FSBO lead!

Do you want to be a real estate investor, or you just say you do? It’s up to you and there is no shame in either answer. Just follow the steps in this article and decide for yourself! Forget other people, we are all unique and we have unique life situations. Good luck!Now back to our topic. I wanted to talk about it because all of you going into investing must understand, that in order to succeed it this venture you have to start with the end in mind. To travel to China, you gotta first figure out where you are departing from, if you are going from the US, a train is not an option; however if you are traveling from Russia, you may choose to take a train, a plane or even a car. You know what I mean? Figure out where you want to go, then where you are starting and then choose your transportation! Not in any other order.

People say “I want to be a real estate investor so I will wholesale a house”. Hmmm really? I don’t think so! First of all you must understand that there are so many things that can be considered as investing:

  • Rehabbing properties
  • Wholesaling/Assigning contracts
  • Landlording
  • Lending money and so on…

Do you want to take on a new career and build a business or you want nothing to do with showing houses and speaking with sellers? What are your strengths, talents and experience? Be honest with yourself, don’t get hung up by people telling you “Just do a deal”! Oh if I only closed one assignment deal after each time I heard that in my first year!

My suggestion, follow these steps and listen to your heart (not other people) when you do that:

  1. Figure out what you love doing and whether or not you need a new career
  2. Decide where you want to be financially, how much money would make you financially free. Be realistic and don’t go straight for “millionaire” because it could also mean many things, e.g. in DC or LA many home owners are millionaires just because they own one home, so be careful with what you wish for.
  3. Consider where you start: how much time you can realistically spend, how much money you can invest on recurring marketing efforts, how much help you will get. Note: not how much help you would like to get from your spouse, children, neighbor or a realtor friend you know… Who will commit to help you and what will they put into this venture?
  4. Identify your budget. No, it’s not the same as #3 where you just through a number in! Look into your finances, figure out how much you can commit spending each month. Is it $3000 or $300? It’s very important because it will bring you to the next step
  5. Identify what marketing strategies you can commit to for your budget. Commit for at least 6 months! Here is the tricky part, 100 yellow letters each month will not bring as good of a result as 1,000 letters. But even 1,000 letters must be sent right, and you need to follow up with your lists. So here calculate very carefully how much it will cost you to buy a list, material for the letters, pay for the help of people who will handwrite your envelopes, or if you THINK you will do it yourself, again, be honest! Are you willing to spend a full 8 hour day weekly to prepare a campaign of 300 letters? Because that’s how long it will take to handwrite these letters. Ask me how I know…
  6. Look into your local REIA offers and see if you can get on some sort of an apprenticeship program where you will work as a team member and get a small cut of a deal. Or see if any guru in your area might take you on. Be careful and don’t fall in the trap of overnight success for $15K! Again, ask me how I know. The best advice and help I ever got were FREE from people I became friends with. So use your charm, be likable and remember your Network is equal to your Net worth!
  7. Never give up! This is probably the most important step on this list.

Be ready to make mistakes and deal with many failures. Be ready to waste money on marketing that doesn’t work and even be ready for bad partnerships.

Not all people from your 3-day class will really DO it, most of them are just talk… And many of them will simply give up and say these education was spam and they want their money back. Some of them will try but won’t handle the failure. And only a few will push forward and get to their first deal! What’s the true percentage of people who become full time wholesalers or rehabbers no one knows, but it’s tiny. Those people spend a lot of money on marketing and a lot of time on follow up, they build teams and systems, they learn from failure and keep working on their personal development. Because…

 Business is a tough game that spits out the weak ones very quickly!

Do you want to take on a new career and build a business or you want nothing to do with showing houses and speaking with sellers? What are your strengths, talents and experience? Be honest with yourself, don’t get hung up by people telling you “Just do a deal”! Read more in this article...

Do you want to be a real estate investor, or you just say you do? It’s up to you and there is no shame in either answer. Just follow the steps above and decide for yourself! Forget other people, we are all unique and we have unique life situations. Good luck!


Outsourcing 101: Why and When Real Estate Investors do it and Who needs it?

Outsourcing (by Wikipedia) – in business, outsourcing involves the contracting out of a business process to another party…and includes both foreign and domestic contracting, and sometimes includes offshoring (relocating a business function to another country).

For real estate investors most common is to hire Filipino workers for lower that American wage and delegate daily tasks that can be done remotely like data entry, seller calls, social media management and more. Outsourcing doesn’t always involve hiring a foreign virtual assistant (VA), it also encompasses hiring local people to help put out bandit signs, prepare mailers and more sophisticated investors even have folks to go to appointments and handle their sales department. This is all part of outsourcing.

Here is a quick Slideshare we’ve put together for you with the 10 tasks for Real Estate Investors to Outsource.


Outsource Hub's Favorite Summer #Quotes for you to share on #SocialMedia Profiles like #Facebook to inspire your friends and colleaguesOften times real estate investors have to wear multiple hats in their business. Especially when we first start out and have not yet built a good support team, there is simply too much to handle. And certain tasks like scouting for FSBO leads, preparing mailers for the next mailing campaign or putting out road (bandit) signs are time consuming and have to be done very often – up to a few times a week.

That’s why it just makes sense to get help, local and virtual, and the faster you realize it, the quicker you can grow. But please,

Read this article to know what 3 Questions to ask yourself before you say the “O” word.


How do you know it’s time for you to start outsourcing?

We see too many people get seduced by fancy word “outsourcing” and jump into hiring a virtual assistant because it’s cheap or looking for other help because “CEO is not supposed to do thatOutsource Hub's Favorite Summer #Quotes for you to share on #SocialMedia Profiles like #Facebook to inspire your friends and colleagues. However those are not the best reasons and I believe it’s best to start outsourcing those tasks that you have done and hopefully mastered, so you can explain it to your new team member and be able to manage them afterwards. Even putting out bandit signs, I suggest you do it yourself once or twice to realize how much time it takes and how quickly they get pulled out so you know what to expect and require from your workers. The best time to start outsourcing is when you have a good plan of what you want to achieve with your marketing campaign (we’ll talk about marketing plan and budget in the later videos) and when you outline your budget how much you can afford to spend weekly/monthly so you don’t run out of funds before sending out that mailing campaign. So:

Learn your tasks >> Outline marketing plan and budget >> Outsource


Outsourcing 101: Part 1 – Why and When Real Estate Investors do it and Who needs it?Are you the right person to be outsourcing? As crazy as it may sound, not everyone should do it! Why? Because besides the steps in the previous paragraph, the fun part begins when you actually hired your helpers. Are you ready to train your team members, can you manage them on a daily basis, can you tweak and adjust their tasks? Outsourcing does not mean “stop working yourself”, it means more responsibility and more free time for other things. Are you ready for that? I believe you need to be a smart leader, first of all, and be able to fulfill these requirements to be able to sort through the bad hires (and you WILL have plenty of those) and spot the great team members even when they are not yet rocking your new task. Maybe even babysit at first, so they don’t screw up. You gotta be patient, and be able to follow your own plan if you want this to work out for you. And even then, be prepared to waste some money on bad hires, wrong marketing campaigns and other unexpected by newbie investors things.

Good luck and here is to your outsourcing success

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